Sunday, August 08, 2010

Economics 2008 Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman calls Wisconsin Congressional Representative Paul Ryan "The Flimflam Man"

Economics Nobel Prize Winner of 2008 Paul Krugman has unleashed both economic barrels at Wisconsin Representative to the U.S. Congress, Paul Ryan, who Krugman calls The Flimflam Man for Ryan's ignorant and absurd pie-in-the-sky plans for America's future in which the current abhorrent and unjustified inequalities of income would in fact become worse than ever.

Ryan is a good example of the increasingly under-qualified Congresspersons who are being increasingly elected to Congress by populist-enamored voters and who, once they get to Washington D.C., are presenting outlandish legislative proposals that -- in Ryan's case -- favor only the the rich, to the detriment of the rest of the country. As written at the Wikipedia:
"On April 1, 2009, Ryan introduced the GOP Alternative to the 2010 United States federal budget. This proposed alternative would have eliminated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, lowered the top tax rate to 25%, introduced an 8.5% value-added consumption tax, and imposed a five-year spending freeze on all discretionary spending.[10] It would also have replaced the Medicare system.[11] Instead, it proposed that starting in 2021, the federal government would pay part of the cost of private medical insurance for individuals turning 65.[11] Ryan's proposed budget would also have allowed taxpayers to opt out of the federal income taxation system with itemized deductions, and instead pay a flat 10 percent of adjusted gross income up to $100,000 and 25 percent on any remaining income.[12] Ryan's proposed budget was heavily criticized by opponents for the lack of concrete numbers[13]. It was ultimately rejected in the house by a vote of 293-137, with 38 Republicans in opposition.[14]"

Such proposals, if instituted, would create a financial shambles in America second to none.

Why middle-class and low income voters vote for such under-qualified persons is something that pure intelligence can not answer.

Elena Kagan Sworn In at the U.S. Supreme Court: The Second Straight Former "Paul, Weiss et al." Summer Associate Joins SCOTUS

Elena Kagan, following Sonia Sotomayor, has become the second straight former Summer Associate at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to be sworn in as a new Justice at the United States Supreme Court.

Being a Paul Weiss alum myself, the LawPundit trusts that he can be excused a bit of biased joy at the event, in spite of some initial reservations about Kagan, reservations which we hope shall be dispelled in the course her work at the Court.

For the details, Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times reports from Washington D.C. at Elena Kagan sworn in as Supreme Court justice to become third woman on the current court. Here is the AP video via YouTube of the swearing in ceremony:






Our prediction here at LawPundit is that Kagan will be far more middle-of-the-road in her work at the Supreme Court than everyone expects. We make that prediction based upon an analysis of her character, which tends toward jurisprudential and legal unity rather than politically-colored judicial extremism. As we posted previously at LawPundit, that strong feature of her personality should move her toward the center when she actually starts to exercise her judicial responsibilities, because it is at the center that a Justice almost always makes the greatest degree of difference, not on the fringes.

Senate Confirms Kagan in Partisan Vote - NYTimes.com

For the record on Elena Kagan, I refer to a New York Times article by Carl Hulse, Senate Confirms Kagan in Partisan Vote.

The vote was 63-37.

Only one Democratic Senator voted "no", Ben Nelson of Nebraska. I grew up in Nebraska and have many friends throughout that great State, but one has to recognize that Nebraskans are about as arch-conservative as you can get. This has advantages and disadvantages. Nelson is voting "no" so he can get re-elected to the Senate.

Five Republican Senators
voted for Kagan:

Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine
Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
Dick Lugar of Indiana
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

Those may turn out -- in future retrospect -- to be the smarter Republicans on the Senate, as I expect Kagan, who is not necessarily our own cup of tea, either, however to be much more middle of the road than most people expect and to have a moderating influence on a Court which is currently hopelessly split into liberal and conservative factions, with Justice Kennedy calling the shots. That has to stop, and Kagan may have a hand in bringing the rest of the Justices at the U.S. Supreme Court to their senses.

Politico quotes Lindsey Graham, by no means one of our favorite Congressmen, who made a very astute statement:
"“Things are changing. I worry the direction we’re drifting. I don’t question any of my colleagues’ decisions; I would just like to get us back to more traditional ‘advice and consent,’ where the [presidential] election is respected,” Graham said. “I worry about where this takes us as a nation with the judiciary.”"
Graham is quite correct that the extreme partisanship that has developed in the country is extremely harmful and that a return to traditional respect of the President and of the Supreme Court is essential to help get the country moving again.

One way for the Supreme Court to achieve that is to stop appearing as a politically-divided organ and rather to present as much as possible a unified front of Justices to the country, Justices responsible for applying the law in the nation's highest Court. Perhaps Kagan can move the Court in that direction.

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